IRD has published its Public Rulings work programme for 2014/15.
You can find the full document here:
Given GST is by far the most interesting tax here are the key points from the programme:
Currently consulting on (consultation period closed)
Time of supply when no supply made. This ruling covers when, if at all, GST has to be accounted for if a supply does not proceed. It’s pretty esoteric stuff but does have some practical implications for land transactions especially.
Currently consulting on (consultation period still open)
GST treatment of payments made to state schools. This covers school “donations” and other payments to schools and discusses when GST applies. Mainly affects state schools and provides more clarity over the treatment of what is a bit of a minefield.
Items currently in progress (nothing publicly available yet)
Secondhand goods claims for fishing quota/coastal permits and certificates of compliance.
Late return fees for hired goods.
Lotteries, raffles, sweepstakes and prize competitions.
Retirement villages Interpretation Statement update.
Non-profit bodies and section 20(3K).
GST and relationship property agreements.
Watch out for something to be published on the above. Fishing companies, secondhand goods traders, hire businesses, charities, aged care providers and relationship property lawyers will be particularly interested in these.
Known issues but NOT currently being worked on
GST and parking fines.
Partnership capital contributions.
GST under the Project to Reduce Emissions programme.
Single versus multiple supplies.
Directors’ fees and fees for board members.
GST and bare trusts.
Legal services provided to non-residents relating to transactions involving NZ land (a political hot potato).
If these issues concern you then it looks like you’ll be waiting until after 2015 before seeing progress.
It’s a pretty comprehensive work programme, especially when all the other (less interesting) taxes are added in. The IRD will have had to fix priority areas based on internal and taxpayer feedback.
Some of these issues are pretty important and when finalised will go a long way to improving the integrity of the tax system for many taxpayers. It’s a pity some of the not insignificant extra resources given to the IRD in recent years to audit taxpayers could not be diverted to allow this work to be completed more quickly.